Replay: Getting Started with WordPress for Toastmasters Webinar, May 3, 2020

This is the replay of a webinar covering the basics you need to understand to customize your home page, set up your meeting agenda, and begin using WordPress for Toastmasters productively. Conducted with help from Stephanie Nolan, who is helping organize a volunteer project to improve the documentation and training materials.

webinar replay

The first portion of the video was recorded after the fact for the simple reason that I forgot to turn on the Zoom recording function when the meeting started. You’ll see that partway through the opening presentation my webcam picture appears in the corner of the screen and the audio quality changes.

Read on for shorter video clips and screen shots covering the highlights.

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Getting Started with WordPress for Toastmasters

Sunday May 3, 2020 4:00 PM EDT

Join me, David F. Carr, founder of the WordPress for Toastmasters project for this getting started tutorial.

This session is particularly intended for those who have set up an account on or installed the software on top of WordPress but are puzzled about what to do next. Besides figuring out how to use all the agenda management goodies, a new user who is unfamiliar with WordPress has to learn their way around the system for editing web pages and blog posts.

Like giving your Icebreaker speech, you have to get started if you want to make progress. With a little coaching, I hope you to give you the confidence to take the plunge.

I’ll be joined by Stephanie Nolan, a Toastmasters volunteer who is helping me improve the documentation and training materials. I’m seeking additional volunteers who can help with those aspects or with programming, design, and simplification of the user experience.

The goal of this session is to give you everything you need to get started, while also getting feedback for improvement to the software. WordPress for Toastmasters is free, open source software. The hosting service is also intended as a resource for the community, with its expenses paid by the clubs who see the value of it.

These tools have been very useful to me as President, VP of Education, VP of Public Relations, and club member. I used them when leading Online Presenters Toastmasters to charter in 2017 and have built in a number of tools that are useful in the context of online meetings.

I want you to learn to use WordPress for Toastmasters productively.

Event date is past

Tue, 04 Aug 2020 02:35:45 +0000 last time: Sun, 03 May 2020 16:00:00 -0400

Updates to the Online Ballots for Contest Judges and the Vote Counting Dashboard

When I recently asked for feedback from people who had used my online tools for judges, ballot counters, and the chief judge, one message I got from the judges was they wanted clearer confirmation that their votes had been received.

Here is how the latest release of the software handles that, showing the judge a “Checking whether votes have been received…” message, followed by a “Votes received on ballot counting dashboard” confirmation.

Demo of the vote casting and vote counting tools
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New Member Mailing List Option

A new option is available for member and officer email group email discussion lists, where any list member is enabled to send a message to all other members. This provides an easy method for distributing club announcements and appeals for help with an event or project.

A mailing list message

Members can unsubscribe from these messages, and administrators can block members from sending if they abuse the privilege.

The new mailing list facility is a feature of RSVPMaker, one of the WordPress plugins included in WordPress for Toastmasters.

Prompt to switch

If you administer a club website that previously established a mailing list using an integration with the WP Mailster plugin (previously the default for sites), you will see a prompt on the dashboard suggesting that you will switch. The email settings will automatically be imported from WP Mailster, allowing you to make the switch with a minimum of hassle.

If you prefer the WP Mailster functionality, you can keep it. Just be aware that if your list grows beyond 50 members, you will start getting messages prompting you to update to the paid version of that plugin. The RSVPMaker version is also more tightly integrated and tailored to meet club requirements.

More detailed documentation for setting up the RSVPMaker Group Email feature is available here. users who wish to establish a new email list should contact me for assistance because it requires configuring email accounts to act as queues for each list you establish. I don’t have a self-service way of enabling that, at least not yet.


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